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Heartache Over Elton John

July 26, 2017

I was poking about in The Reject Shop the other day, when a familiar tune from my childhood burst onto the in-store speakers. This song was Heartache All Over the World by Elton John. According to Wikipedia, Elton has described the song as ‘the worst he has ever recorded,’ which I felt to be unfair. Here, then, is an analysis of the lyrics:

Well I’m running away
From this house on the hill
There’s a devil inside
Sitting on the window sill

This first verse is somewhat Poe-esque, but only makes sense in light of subsequent verses.

And it’s a wild Friday night
And I’m all on my own
I knocked on every door in town
There ain’t one little girl that’s home

Here the subject is revealed as an incel. This second verse explains the first: the devil sitting on the window sill turns out to be unfulfilled sexual desires.

And everybody’s got a date
And the ones that ain’t are tired
What the hell do you do on a weekend honey
When your heart’s on fire

A lament over the sexual success of the subject’s rivals.

And you can go from Tokyo to Rome
Looking for a girl
But it looks to me like the weekend means
Heartache all over the world

Here we see a dramatic escalation of the subject’s anguish. Having already taken the extreme step of knocking on every door in town in search of gratification, the subject takes the search global. This is true desperation.

Girls, girls, girls
Have pity on me
Oh it looks to me like the weekend means
Heartache, heartache all over the world

Now things are going from slightly scary to pathetic. Asking for a “pity root” — SAD!

He’s got lipstick on his collar
She’s got fishnets on her legs
I’m at home and I’ve got nothing
Just a cold and aching head

More resentment at the sexual success of others. This bloke would be all over the Manosphere today.

There must be something dirty
Just blame it on the magazines
Don’t read that trash it’ll drive you crazy
`Cause the cops invade your dreams

Here we find our subject has given up on the idea of three-dimensional satisfaction, and has decided to honk the pud instead. But our subject is burdened by the possibility that the cops are going to burst in and take a truncheon to bis boner. The devil on the window sill wins.

Thus ends our lyrical analysis of Heartache All Over The World.

Musically, Heartache is a fairly standard 1980s pop tune, with some amiable guitar riffs and keyboard work. Elton’s vocal performance is solid, gradually gaining momentum throughout each verse. Overall, it’s a nicely-crafted track, which certainly doesn’t deserve the opprobrium from it has received from critics, or Elton himself.

Ⓒ Universal Music Publishing Group


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